Cliven Bundy has had his 15 minutes as a conservative hero. Now he's experiencing his 15 minutes as a national laughingstock.
After reports came out saying that Bundy had wondered aloud whether African-Americans (or, as he called them, "the Negro") would be better off as slaves, and after video came out confirming that, despite Bundy's protestations that he was misquoted, this was indeed one of the many outrageous things he said, many of Bundy's former Republican allies ran away from him while the rest of the political world looked on with a mix of bemusement, schadenfreude and horror.
But Bundy wasn't done. It turns out there are a few ticks of the second hand left for this silly man's fading 15 minutes:
- After delivering a press conference, during which he scolded the media for quoting him accurately, Bundy spoke with CNN. In terms of salvaging his reputation, it was less than a total success. "I don't think I'm wrong," Bundy told CNN. "I think I'm right." Bundy also reiterated his deep, deep concern about the African-American family, but said he didn't mean to use the s-word (slavery) but rather meant to talk about black people working on "farms" in the South. "I meant to compare it with maybe life on the farm or life in the South," Bundy explained, "where they had some chickens and the gardens, and they had something to do."
- A new report finds that before Bundy started talking about "the Negro" he complained about the lack of support he felt his cause was getting from non-white Americans. "Where is our colored brother? Where is our Mexican brother? Where is our Chinese — where are they?" Bundy said. "They're just as much American as we are, and they're not with us. If they're not with us, they're going to be against us." He also shared his thoughts on the Watts Riots of '65; he found it all very, very confusing.
- However, another report has found Bundy praising a minority group, albeit condescendingly and with evident ignorance. Speaking to his supporters, Bundy asked that they let him share his thoughts on "the Spanish people." So they did. And here they are: "Now, I understand that they come over here against our Constitution and cross our borders. But they're here, and they're people. And I've worked beside a lot of them. Don't tell me they don't work, and don't tell me they don't pay taxes. And don't tell me they don't have better family structures than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they're together, they picnic together, they're spending their time together. And I'll tell you, in my way of thinking, they're awful nice people. And we need to have those people going to be with us." Congratulations to "the Spanish people" — you're Bundy-approved!